Bears so banged-up, they can’t even play the kids down the stretch

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Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston (99) celebrates a sack Sunday. (AP)

Here’s how bad things have gotten at Halas Hall: the Bears can’t even use the final stretch of a lost season to play the kids.

Instead, they were forced to play two 30-year-olds Sunday — safety Chris Prosinski, who four days before the 49ers game was just another workout warrior in Highland Park, and outside linebacker Lamarr Houston, who won’t be on the next decent Bears team, whenever that might be.

Prosinski played every snap while replacing injured safeties Adrian Amos, Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson; second-year player Deiondre’ Hall, promoted off injured reserve the day before, never saw the field on defense.

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In a normal world, Hall would be ideal for a rebuilding team to play, but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he wasn’t ready after spending most of training camp at cornerback.

“He’s had very, very minimal chances to play safety for us,” he said. “And as much as you may want to put him out there, it’d be unfair to him and unfair to the other players.”

Hall was inside the Bears’ facility while rehabbing a hamstring injury, but the Bears still preferred someone who hadn’t been employed since the preseason. Fangio said Hall’s presence “helps, but it’s not the same.”

Claimed off waivers after Leonard Floyd went to injured reserve, Houston played 91 percent of the snaps because Pernell McPhee left in the first quarter with a shoulder problem.

Bush is healthy this week, but the outside linebacker spot won’t get younger; vet Christian Jones could move there from inside linebacker for Sunday.

“He kept things together as an inside ’backer,” coach John Fox said. “Now we’ve gotten nicked up a little bit outside in the last couple of weeks, and he’s been able to help us in that area.”

Cornerback Prince Amukamara said it’s unusual for vets to come in to play out the string.

“It’s an opportunity to show 31 other teams and the Bears that they still have a lot left in the tank,” he said.

Injury update

Receiver Josh Bellamy missed practice Thursday with an illness, while McPhee (shoulder), Amos (hamstring) and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (hip) also sat out.

Fox characterized Goldman and McPhee as “day to day” but added that Amos was not. After missing 10 games to injury last year, Goldman has played in every game this year.

“He’s stayed healthy up until missing [Wednesday and Thursday],” Fox said, “but I think he’s played well for us.”

This and that

• For the second consecutive season, outside linebacker Sam Acho is the Bears’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the NFL’s highest civic honor.

• Houston-Carson remained limited with an ankle injury.

Follow me on Twitter@patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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